PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Pediatrics and Child Health - Public Health and Epidemiology - Respiratory Medicine

A Community Study of Factors Related to Poorly Controlled Asthma among Brazilian Urban Children
Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Author: Silvia de Magalhães Simões et al.

by Silvia de Magalhães Simões, Sergio S. da Cunha, Álvaro A. Cruz, Karen Conceição Dias, Neuza M. Alcântara-Neves, Leila D. Amorim, Laura C. Rodrigues, Maurício L. Barreto


Asthma constitutes a serious public health problem in many regions of the world, including the city of Salvador, State of Bahia – Brazil. The purpose of this study was to analyse the factors associated with poor asthma control.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Two definitions were used for asthma: 1) wheezing in the last 12 months; 2) wheezing in the last 12 months plus other asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis ever. The definition of poorly controlled asthma was: at least one reported hospitalisation due to asthma and/or high frequency of symptoms, in the last year. Children with poorly controlled asthma (N?=?187/374) were compared with wheezing children with controlled asthma regarding age, gender, atopy, parental asthma, rhinitis, eczema, exposure to second hand tobacco smoke, presence of moulds, pets and pests in the house, helminth infections and body mass index. Crude and logistic regression adjusted odds ratios were used as measures of association. There was a higher proportion of poorly controlled asthma among children with eczema (OR?=?1.55; 95% CI 1.02; 2.37). The strength of the association was greater among children with eczema and rhinitis (42.6%, 53.4% and 57.7%, respectively, in children who had no rhinitis nor eczema, had only one of those, and had both (p?=?0.02 for trend test). The presence of mould in the houses was inversely associated with poorly controlled asthma (OR?=?0.54; 95% CI 0.34; 0.87).


Our results indicate an association between eczema and poor asthma control in this environment, but emphasize the role of various other individual and environmental factors as determinants of poor control.